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Jan 26, 2004 03:41 PM

Best Hot Dog Restaurant in Baltimore-DC-Va.

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Can you tell me the best hot dog places. I am from Buffalo where we had Sahlen's.

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  1. And Ted's. Plus Wegman's (opening 2/29 in Sterling-their BIGGEST STORE AT 135,000 square feet) sold Zweigle's. There is nothing here on that level. Half smokes like Ben's Chili Bowl but, overall, nothing that I know of that even approaches Buffalo's best.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Joe H.

      You know, Joe, this area would be greatly enriched by the availability of a decent hot dog, would it not? With all these soft-serve ice cream places popping up, maybe it'll be the next big thing. Sometimes a fella just craves a fried half-smoke with hot sauce, chili and coleslaw and you just can't find one around here anymore.

      1. re: flavrmeistr

        Serious! Half smokes were everywhere years ago and now, even after the Post raved about them, they've all but disappeared. Polock Johnny's used to be a big deal in Baltimore, too. I think that, too, is a shadow of what once was.

        There's actually a fairly new hot dog place in Herndon that looks quite interesting. I'll have to stop in there soon.

        Back to frozen custard: it goes together with hot dogs!!!

    2. You'll have to cook it yourself, but presumably that isn't a problem, otherwise we have a whole different issue here. Get a jar of Tulkoff mustard from the cooler part of the supermarket next to the horseradish (Giant has it anyway). This is Baltimore mustard, pungent and spicy and cheap. Go to Binkert's meat products on Philadelphia road in northeast B'more and get a pound or several of the long frankfurters. Use your imagination from there. Binkert hails from I'm not sure which part of Germany, but he specializes in cured and stuffed Germanic meat things made in house, and they are exquisite. Not expensive, but for most of us it's a bit of a hike. Worth it though.

      19 Replies
      1. re: Ramon

        Have you ever had Thumann's hot dogs from Jersey? In casings. If so I'd be curious how they would compare. I do know that the best brats in Germany are superior to anything I've had in America. The little rolls, too, which by the way are sold fresh in the Germn deli in Falls Church.

        1. re: Joe H.

          Haven't had Thumann's, but Binkerts are on a par with what I've had in Germany and Austria. The casing snaps when you bite into these guys, but the interior is juicy and perfectly spiced.

          1. re: Ramon

            That sounds great! Will definitely try them. It might be a month or two before I'm up that way but I will bring some back. Thanks.

            1. re: Joe H.

              Come to think of it, Attman's Delicatessen on Baltimore's sadly declined Lombard Street has excellent kosher all beef dogs...and you don't have to cook them yourself!

              1. re: Ramon

                You know, when I was thinking about really good hot dogs there were actually several delis that came to mind. I've had Attman's-but it was a long time ago and I really liked them. But it seems that I'm going to have to find an excuse to drive to Binkert's now. If it was only 70 degrees or so and I could fire up the Weber!

                1. re: Joe H.

                  Dude, it's even better when you have to trek through the snow and have a glass of Scotch at the ready (but not too close to the grill). Don't banish the Weber to the summer months.

                  1. re: Ramon

                    Word. Extreme Grilling for us hardwood nuts. Attman's has always been good for eat-in, and there's one more Deli left there on Corned Beef Row almost next door to Attman's that does a good job too. But crappy interior...can't remember the name though.

                    Binkert's, eh? With 2 glowing reviews from Ramon AND Aubzamzam, I'm going ot have to go.

                    1. re: pleiades

                      My parents have been buying from Mr. Binkert for years and swear by him!

                    2. re: Ramon

                      I was thinking about this almost immediately after my post. Somehow, the hot dog will taste even BETTER when a bit of work goes into it. I WILL make it to Binkert's!

                      Thanks, Ramon.

                  2. re: Ramon

                    I was going to suggest Attman's but wasn't sure if they were still in existence. (I rarely get up that way) But now that I know they still are, I second the recommendation!

                    1. re: sazaesan

                      Attman's is still around....for 94 years! And the hot dogs are still as delicious as ever.

                    2. re: Ramon

                      Attman's hot dog are made form their own recipe and they are delicious, wrapped in bologna!

                2. re: Joe H.

                  I have tasted Thumanns. They have the look and the name(de rigeur German) but they are inferior to Nathans i.e.made in your house. The Best Hot dog is Frankies(Connecticut) boiled in hot oil and finished on the greasy griddle. Also check out Zweigles Red Hots and Sahlens, both out of New York Upstate. Check out Hummels of Connecticut. However nothing can top Leberkase style wurst etc in Germany.

                  1. re: ffalxman

                    Remarkably, I've been to Frankie's, sort of accidentally driving by it and "getting a feeling about it." It was very good. But I like a Zweigle's grilled on a Weber better. (Wegman's opens on 2/29 and will sell Zweigle's.) There are also several places in north Jersey but overall, I totally agree with you about Germany. I travel the whole country on driving trips on business and have done my best to eat bratwurst everywhere-from Nuremburg (two nationally famous places) to what I think is the best hot dog/bratwurst of any at a street stand on the Monckeburgstrasse (sp?)in Hamburg. Part of the reason is not just the brat and the German mustard but also the roll. (I noted in another post that the German deli in Falls Church sells the actual rolls which they have shipped over.)

                    Having said all this the best hot dog in America-for me-is a Cheese Coney at any of four or five places in Cincinnati. But this has nothing to do with the small boiled hot dog (!) but everything to do with Cincinnati chili, shredded cheese and minced onion all coming together.

                    1. re: Joe H.

                      I worked in Ohio for several years and couldn't quite come to grips with the Cincinnati style sweetness (and cinammon) in the Chili.

                      There is a place in Reston that makes their chili that way called Cincinnati Cafe. I'm not a big fan of the place in general but the chili does remind me of what was available in Ohio. Don't know if they have a Coney Dog on the menu, but I would guess that they do.

                      1. re: bilrus

                        I live two miles from it and was there the day it opened. Overall it was better than I expected but it did not fill the void of when Skyline closed it's Virginia location in Merrifield.

                        There is something about a four way with Frank's hot sauce, a couple of cheese coneys and a trip to Graeter's than has endeared me to Cincinnati for 25 years.

                        I've sold Kings Island a few rides, too, so that helps!

                        1. re: Joe H.

                          I had a Graeters near my place in Columbus. Good stuff.

                          1. re: Joe H.

                            2 cheese coneys and some Graeters Coconut Chip. Now I'm hungry.

                  2. re: Ramon

                    Egon Binkert came here from the Lindau area in southern Baden-Wuerttemberg, not an area known for its exceptional sausages. My mother recently came to visit from Germany for the holidays, and I picked up some Binkert's sausages for our traditional Xmas Eve meal. She was a bit of a doubting Thomas when it came to the sausages, especially when she heard where Binkert was from (she is a Franconian Sausage Chauvinist, and will make a day trip out of taking the train to her favorite butcher in Wuerzburg, 100 km from where she lives).

                    Well, she was convinced: The Nuernberger and Bavarian Bratwursts as well as his cured Bauernwurst got high praises (albeit grudging ones), which pleased me greatly. Another vote for Binkert's, directly from the old country!

                  3. I know it is a little overpriced and from a seafood restaurant, but the Dog at Johnny's Halfshell is very very good.

                    1. Neither of these places are as good as the ones in upstate New York, no less Germany, but I enjoy both Weenie World in Dundalk and Ann's Dairy Creme in Glen Burnie. More for their anti-ambiance than the food (which is good, though). And I hear that the owners of Ann's have opened a second location (though under a different name, which I can't remember) on the Inner Harbor pier where the Power Plant is. I plan to give it a try next time I'm there.

                      Also, there are still a couple of Pollack Johnny's around Baltimore selling half-smokes, in Lexington Market and in the southwest part of town, on Washington Boulevard, at its intersection with Patapsco Ave, I think.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chris S

                        I'll second the vote for Ann's Dairy Creme. 12 inches of deep fried goodness served up on a hoagie roll!

                      2. anyplace that serves Nathan's...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jurt

                          Well...not necessarily "anyplace". Some places may serve Nathan's product but they don't always do them justice. For instance, I was handed a *gasp* STEAMED Nathan's at the Miami airport. A sin and an abomination! The best I've had are served along the Florida Turnpike. Expensive, but perfectly grilled and worth every penny.